Mo. restaurant reopens as ‘private club’ after being closed for defying COVID-19 regulations

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: A pedestrian walks past a sign saying "Face Mask Required" on July 18, 2021 in London, England. On Monday, England will drop nearly all remaining pandemic-era social restrictions, such as those requiring distancing and size limits on gatherings. The move pits its vaccination programme against a more virulent Delta variant that has led to the UK's highest number of daily new infections since January. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

A pedestrian walks past a sign saying “Face Mask Required” on July 18, 2021. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 8:28 AM PT – Sunday, September 5, 2021

A restaurant has reopened as a private club in Missouri after being shut down for defying the county’s mask mandate. Rae’s Cafe reopened as a private club for friends and family on Saturday after being ordered to close by the Health Department on Friday.

A sign on the door read, “by entering this club, you admit that you are not a member of the general public. By signing your name, you record your membership and attendance. You also assume any and all risks of disease transmission.”

Reports said several patrons could be seen walking into and leaving the establishment where a sign on the door read “no masks allowed” and that a $1 membership fee would be collected each visit.

“This is my business, this is my livelihood, this is how I survive,” said owner Amanda Wohletz. “I’m gonna stay open as long as I can and I’ll fight it as long as I have to cause nobody else is.”

The owner added that it was difficult for staff to work in the kitchen with their faces covered. She noted with the entire restaurant industry short-staffed, the mandate wasn’t helping.

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